Muckenthaler Motor Car Festival – Orange County’s Oldest Car Show

The Muckenthaler Motor Car Festival is Orange County’s oldest running auto show and one of Professor Quan’s favorites. The two-day event happens only once a year. And this year’s event did not disappoint. As the local, Southern California, auto show season heats up we dispatched the Good Professor to the Muckenthaler Estate for a complete analysis of the 2018 event. Hear the details in this iDriveSoCal Podcast.

***Transcript***

Recording date – May 21, 2018 at Benztown Studios in Glendale, CA

Clinton Quan: The Muckenthaler Motor Car Festival, they say it’s the oldest running auto show in North Orange County. It’s a two day event, and that’s why it’s called a car festival. On Saturdays it’s hot rods and customs. I always go on Sunday, the big day, the Concours d’Elegance. These are the car shows that I really enjoy attending the most, are the ones that are once a year, because it really is something that’s special.

Tom Smith: Welcome to iDriveSoCal, the podcast all about mobility from the automotive capital of the United States, Southern California. Tom Smith here, and I am joined by The Professor, Mr. Clinton Quan. Say hello Clinton.

Clinton Quan: Hi Tom.

Tom Smith: Today’s topic is going to be an auto show, a very special auto show that The Professor attended, what was that, just yesterday, I guess it was this past weekend, huh?

Clinton Quan: Yes. It was just yesterday.

Tom Smith: The Muckenthaler Motor Car Festival in Fullerton, California. That was at the Muckenthaler Estate, which is now a museum.

Clinton Quan: Yes. It’s a museum, cultural center art gallery.

Tom Smith: Okay, very cool. And you’ve been to this show before right?

Clinton Quan: I’ve been the show a number of years. It’s one of the shows that I attend annually.

Tom Smith: Tell us all about it.

Clinton Quan: Well, the Muckenthaler Motor Car Festival, they say it’s the oldest running auto show in North Orange County. It’s a two day event, and that’s why it’s called a car festival. On Saturdays it’s hot rods and customs. I always go on Sunday, the big day, the Concours d’Elegance.

Tom Smith: You didn’t go on Saturday this year. Have you ever been on Saturday?

Clinton Quan: I’ve never attended on Saturday. I always go on Sunday. Sunday is the big day with all the classic cars and sports cars. There’s also a big Jaguar showing there, The Jaguar Club. That’s probably one of their biggest events of the year.

Tom Smith: Yeah, and speaking of which, I was just looking at Clinton’s pictures. If you’ve seen Clinton in some of the images on iDriveSoCal, you know that he can bust out some pretty interesting outfits. I like to call them costumes. Clinton was definitely in full regalia for yesterday’s event. He was dressed as if he was just out of a James Bond movie, driving a Jaguar perhaps, something English, with the top down through the English countryside. But, another fantastic costume as always for The Professor at an automotive show.

Clinton Quan: Oh, thanks Tom.

Tom Smith: Tell us about your experience there this Sunday. And it’s just once a year right?

Clinton Quan: Yeah, it’s once a year. These are the car shows that I really enjoy attending the most, are the ones that are once a year, because it really is something that’s special. It’s a one day … Well, the Concours, it’s a one day event. I usually get there early, so I can take some really nice photos. There was a special appearance by the original Batmobile. I don’t know if this was the actual one used in the television show, but it looked just like it, even the interior.

Tom Smith: Nice.

Clinton Quan: That was really, really cool. That definitely made my morning.

Tom Smith: We’re going to try something new with this podcast. If you listen, sometimes everybody listens to podcasts a little bit differently, but if you listen on the website, it’ll be easiest for you. Starting with this one, we’re going to try posting some more pictures. We’ll have the Batmobile pictures that Clinton took, and we’ll have some other pictures that Clinton took. Just a heads up everybody, check out the idrivesocal.com. This particular post will have more images from Clinton’s experience at the car show. Now Clinton, the … What was it?

Clinton Quan: The Jaguars?

Tom Smith: Yeah. The royal wedding. The royal wedding that my wife cared about over the weekend. Get this, I got yelled at over the weekend by my wife, because she was taking care of our young son, and I was doing some work, whatever, but we were both kind of in various rooms. We only have one room where there’s the actual Time Warner Spectrum box that whatever records, the DVR thing. I guess she had paused the coverage of the royal wedding, and I screwed that up. Not only did I screw it up, but I screwed it up to put on one of my shows that’s on-demand anyway. I could’ve got to that anytime. Because my wife was so low on sleep, thanks to our seventh month old son, I got a talking to about that one, which by the way wife, I love you, but I think that was a little uncalled for, just saying. I know we’re all tired, we’re all down on sleep. But anyway, back to the Jaguar that you saw at the Muckenthaler Motor Car Festival, that tied into actually, the royal wedding.

Clinton Quan: Well, it was a 1969 Jaguar E-Type in a, I guess you could it a baby blue. It looked very similar to the one that Harry and Meghan drove in their wedding. Theirs was a 1968. As soon as I saw that car it caught my attention, and I had to take a number of photos with it.

Tom Smith: Now. Let me get this straight. You know that it was similar to the car in the royal wedding, because it sounds like you were like my wife, in watching all that coverage.

Clinton Quan: Well, I did see some coverage of it, I believe-

Tom Smith: By choice, or were you at a sports bar, and it just happened to be on in the background?

Clinton Quan: I was watching the news. It was pretty much covered on all the news shows.

Tom Smith: All right. Fair enough. I watched it on the news too, but all I saw was the car that she arrived in to show off the dress. I didn’t see what they drove away in. But okay.

Clinton Quan: It is a gorgeous car.

Tom Smith: It is.

Clinton Quan: It is, yeah.

Tom Smith: It is. I saw the pictures.

Clinton Quan: There were several E-Types there. There was another one that was just stunning. I believe it was called an opulent silver gray. Something like that. Or, opulence silver something.

Tom Smith: Now, we’re talking about the car show again right?

Clinton Quan: Yes, the car show. And spoke to the owner, and he opened the car up for me. I got to see the red interior, which had been refurnished. It was just absolutely gorgeous.

Tom Smith: Very nice.

Clinton Quan: Those were definitely two of my very favorite cars at the Muckenthaler Motor Car Festival this weekend.

Tom Smith: Okay, and what else do we have?

Clinton Quan: Wow. There’s also a big Corvette showing. There were some classic Corvettes and new Corvettes, including the brand new Z06. My friend saw that one, and she was like, “Wow. That’s an incredible car too”

Tom Smith: We had covered the gamut. I mean, it looked like there was-

Clinton Quan: Well, there’s a little bit of everything.

Tom Smith: Flipping through your pictures it looked like there was some old luxury from the 20s, 30s, but then also-

Clinton Quan: Yes, correct.

Tom Smith: … all the way up to brand new.

Clinton Quan: Well, with any Concours d’Elegance, there’s vehicles from the 20s, 30s and 40s. But there’s also brand new cars, there’s muscle cars. They even have this truck, it was some delivery truck that was just in [crosstalk 00:07:17].

Tom Smith: Deliver truck?

Clinton Quan: Yeah, some type-

Tom Smith: A UPS?

Clinton Quan: Not a UPS.

Tom Smith: FedEx?

Clinton Quan: I’m trying to remember.

Tom Smith: DHL?

Clinton Quan: It was something else. I think it was a tool truck, delivery tool truck. It was just in incredible condition as well.

Tom Smith: You sure it wasn’t just somebody working that day-

Clinton Quan: No, no, no.

Tom Smith: … that had come by? Snap-on guy or something?

Clinton Quan: That was definitely a vehicle that was part of the show, yes.

Tom Smith: Was it old?

Clinton Quan: Yes, it was an older vehicle.

Tom Smith: Got you, okay. It was like a really old Snap-on tool truck?

Clinton Quan: Yeah, something like that.

Tom Smith: All right. Well, that’s cool then.

Clinton Quan: Yeah, white and red.

Tom Smith: That’s cool. That’s cool. I like the old firetrucks as well.

Clinton Quan: Yeah. The old firetrucks are very, very [crosstalk 00:07:53].

Tom Smith: Did they have any of those there?

Clinton Quan: No firetrucks. I didn’t see any firetrucks this year. Now, they did also have a class of vintage trailers, which was really cool.

Tom Smith: That is cool. The old Airstreams and what not?

Clinton Quan: Yeah, type of vehicles like-

Tom Smith: I’m sorry. Is Airstream, I know it’s a brand that’s hot right now, and it has that kind of stainless steel outside look, whatever.

Clinton Quan: Yes, correct.

Tom Smith: That’s been forever, but did they just bring that back and make them look retro, or has that always been or what?

Clinton Quan: That’s a good question. I believe it’s always been that way. I don’t know.

Tom Smith: Oh my gosh. I stumped The Professor on something?

Clinton Quan: Yes. I honestly don’t know too much about vintage trailers, but they do look really cool. What was really nice was that the owners, they let all of the attendees check out the inside of the vehicles.

Tom Smith: Nice.

Clinton Quan: Not only did you walk around it, you got to actually go inside the vehicles.

Tom Smith: Did you pick up any brands by chance? Was Airstream one of them, or were there other brands that were obscure, not even being made anymore?

Clinton Quan: Yeah. Brands that I am not familiar with at all, yeah.

Tom Smith: Generally, the timeframe, that they were from the 50s, I’m assuming?

Clinton Quan: Yeah, I believe it was the 50s. Correct.

Tom Smith: That’s when United States really got big with the highways and what not.

Clinton Quan: I believe 50s, 60s, yes.

Tom Smith: All right. What else you got on the Muckenthaler Motor Car Festival out in Fullerton, California from 2018?

Clinton Quan: Well, for this show, there were 17 different classes of vehicles. Then they always have the special awards. The vehicle that won the best of show was a Ferrari, this beautiful Ferrari. It was like a grand touring coupe, just gorgeous, silver.

Tom Smith: New?

Clinton Quan: No, no. It’s an older Ferrari.

Tom Smith: Got you.

Clinton Quan: But it was one of the ones that was sort of perched up on top of the hill. It was funny, because I believe it was The Embassy, didn’t see the Ferrari at first, and he asked, “Where’s the car?” The driver, he starts driving the car and then the announcer saw the car. But, it’s a gorgeous Ferrari. It’s not your typical Ferrari. When you think of Ferrari you think of sports cars, but this looks more like [crosstalk 00:10:08].

Tom Smith: When I think of Ferrari I think of beater, rusted out …

Clinton Quan: But this is more like-

Tom Smith: Pretty sure when I think of Ferrari I think of gorgeous work of art on wheels that goes fast and sounds great.

Clinton Quan: But this is more like a grand touring coupe, something that looks more like a classic Aston Martin.

Tom Smith: All right. Is that all with the Muckenthaler Motor Car Festival? I don’t know if you’ve noticed yet, but I just like saying Muckenthaler. Muckenthaler. Muckenthaler Motor Car Festival in Fullerton, California.

Clinton Quan: They also had a live jazz band, music from the 20s and 30s.

Tom Smith: That’s fun.

Clinton Quan: Yeah. That’s part of the Muckenthaler Estate.

Tom Smith: Keep it in period.

Clinton Quan: There’s an amphitheater there. They had music there during the daytime.

Tom Smith: I asked The Professor, because someone named Muckenthaler long ago used to live there and now it’s an estate that’s run by the non-profit or whatever. But, I asked The Professor what the Muckenthaler’s were into, business-wise, to create such wealth. I stumped him there too. I didn’t know. Anybody listening to the podcast, do you know? Hit me up, and maybe we’ll have you on and talk about it or what not. Probably just on Wikipedia right? Just Muckenthaler. There it is. Wow, you don’t even have to go through the jumping through hoops, asking people to contact me about it. All right. Sorry to cut you off. Is that it on the Muckenthaler Motor Car Festival in Fullerton, California?

Clinton Quan: Yes. I think we’ve covered the highlights of the show.

Tom Smith: All right. Excellent. Professor Quan, thank you as always. For all of you listening, remember that June, which we are just about upon, is … What are we calling it? … Professor Quan’s Awesome Auto Show June.

Clinton Quan: Yes.

Tom Smith: That’s coming up, so go to idrivesocal.com, the events page. You can check out all the events going on in June, because there’s a ton of auto shows. We actually did a whole podcast about this. But then we’re going to be covering each one of those that The Professor mentioned in that podcast. Maybe you’ll see The Professor out and about. He’ll often times be with his young son. Who knows? Maybe we’ll even arm him with some iDriveSoCal T-shirts or something like that to give out. Professor, thanks again. Thank you for listening for iDriveSoCal. I’m Tom Smith. Talk to you soon.